The hobby in the US & the hobby across the pond

LadfromLondon

Does anyone else feel the hobby in Europe, at least in the UK is very different to the US?

A lot of the fistubers I regularly watch talk about being able to drop fish off to the LFS, aquarium clubs and societies and so on.

I feel us hobbyists across the pond have a completely different experience of the hobby. I don’t feel there are many LFS’ over here, rather there is a lot of chain stores (Maidenhead & Pets At Home)

I’m not aware of many clubs and societies either. It’s not to say they aren’t around, but I’m not sure I know of many, especially those which are active. I thought maybe it’s different in other areas in the UK, but I figured there would be some sort of club or society in London at least!

Just my 2 cents
 

LowConductivity

Does anyone else feel the hobby in Europe, at least in the UK is very different to the US?

A lot of the fistubers I regularly watch talk about being able to drop fish off to the LFS, aquarium clubs and societies and so on.

I feel us hobbyists across the pond have a completely different experience of the hobby. I don’t feel there are many LFS’ over here, rather there is a lot of chain stores (Maidenhead & Pets At Home)

I’m not aware of many clubs and societies either. It’s not to say they aren’t around, but I’m not sure I know of many, especially those which are active. I thought maybe it’s different in other areas in the UK, but I figured there would be some sort of club or society in London at least!

Just my 2 cents
Worlds different. All the new neat stuff departs SA for Europe and Asia, we generally won't see those fish until they've been propagated there. Guess being the cheapskates of the hobby has its downfalls. With that said, its infinitely easier for hobbyists in the US to go straight to the source, no crazy EU import regulations here. If you've got the $100 for USFWS, and some courage, you can import whatever neat stuff you can talk your way into until your hearts content
 
Upvote 0

LadfromLondon

I
Worlds different. All the new neat stuff departs SA for Europe and Asia, we generally won't see those fish until they've been propagated there. Guess being the cheapskates of the hobby has its downfalls. With that said, its infinitely easier for hobbyists in the US to go straight to the source, no crazy EU import regulations here. If you've got the $100 for USFWS, and some courage, you can import whatever neat stuff you can talk your way into until your hearts content
I feel over here we miss so much of the personal aspect of the hobby. Rarely if ever have I heard of clubs/societies over here. Private stores too seem to be scarce.
 
Upvote 0

Coradee

I feel over here we miss so much of the personal aspect of the hobby. Rarely if ever have I heard of clubs/societies over here. Private stores too seem to be scarce.

Where I am in the North West UK we have several very active fish clubs & some very good non chain Lfs.
I’m surprised you’ve not found any societies in your area, have you any local Facebook selling/swap groups? they’d know of fish clubs you could join & good local independent stores.
 
Upvote 0

86 ssinit

I don’t think it’s a very big hobby. Not many involved. Plus the internet makes it tough for private shops. To make it they have to sell all pet products. Not much by me of clubs either. They have a few big reptile shows here but I’ve never heard of a aquarium show.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

There are massive differences in my experience.

You got three major hotspots. North America, Europe and Asia. Each of these hotspots has certain characteristics.
North America is known internationally for being a mixed bag of philosophies and subtypes of the hobby, tech is often improvised and DIY, generally the attitude seems to be focused on what the hobbyist wants, not what the fish need.
Europe is known for being diversified, too. But the tendencies are going towards high end products and more focus on the animal's needs, even in aquascaping. The tendency to rather small appartments and houses also has given nano tanks a rise here. I would probably describe the overall attitude with a focus on giving the fish what they need, not what the hobbyist wants. Luckily this has lead to a state where both interests overlap largely.
In Asia it seems there is the least focus overall on the animals, besides maybe Japan and South Korea. Makes sense if you think how many fish are not only caught (like in SA and Africa) but also bred and exported there. China is a gigantic market in itself, though. I wouldn't dare to try and define how it works there.

Australia and New Zealand come across as quite limited due to import regulations and as having a larger focus on saltwater.
From Africa you hear almost nothing besides from maybe South Africa and the fishery on the Rift Lakes. The fish catching industry in West and Central Africa is growing over the past few years, though. More and more species are coming into Europe.
South America seems to be a hotspot for biotope aquarists since the export industry for wild caught fish is big there and people being able to catch fish basically in front of their doorsteps.
 
Upvote 0

mrsP

Where I am in the North West UK we have several very active fish clubs & some very good non chain Lfs.
I’m surprised you’ve not found any societies in your area, have you any local Facebook selling/swap groups? they’d know of fish clubs you could join & good local independent stores.

Coradee do you know any in North Yorkshire? We do have a brilliand LFS in Harrogate / Knaresborough, but I have no idea about fish clubs.
 
Upvote 0

pagoda

I first started fishkeeping as a child with my dad, that is over 40 years ago. Back then it was goldfish in a bowl and the exotics were for those people who could afford them, which was very few. Aquariums, didn't really exist as they do today, equipment likewise.

There is also something of a underestimation about fish. They aren't cute and cuddly, nor can you sit with one on your lap and watch the TV.....you would end up very wet and the fish, well, it would quickly pass away. Also underestimated is the amount of work involved with fishkeeping, which weirdly has actually increased significantly in the 40 or so years that I have been keeping the little blighters.

Back then there was no cycle....you got your bowl, you won your goldfish at the fair and that was that. No science involved whatsoever and when after a few years the goldfish died, it was of "old age".

As to different parts of the world in fishkeeping, the European pastime has exploded, the ability to import more and more exotic fish and the vast choice of aquariums, equipment etc that can be anything from budget to excessive in cost has opened the pastime up for more people. The US has also increased its fishkeeping popularity, but you also need to realise that certain species are native, so maybe not quite as exotic as we in Europe think they are. Asia and Africa treated fish as either revered or as food, they were not seen as "pets" for centuries, so that marketplace is still very new compared to the US and Europe.

Thesedays new fishkeepers are often given totally incorrect information, they get in a mess quickly and become disillusioned and disheartened when it all goes wrong. There are many avenues of help out there, the pastime is still growing across the world, 99% of fishkeepers tend to be on a set budget.....and lets be honest, going to a fish type show would be nigh on impossible and highly stressful for the poor fish, so you won't see many of those anyway and any aquatic orientated shows will be trade, the exotic fish for sale type setups, very common in Thailand and other Asian countries.

Bottom line is that fish are still seen as "dumb" and not cuddly, not intelligent animals, when infact they are extremely interactive and intelligent. The other misunderstanding is the sheer amount of work involved, it is no longer a case of get the aquarium, plonk the fish in and thats it, no, there is a huge amount of work involved in keeping fish healthy and happy and that, along with poor information and advice from LFS staff, not only kills the fish but it kills the passion in new fishkeepers too.

So I feel fishkeeping in general is the same worldwide, just at different levels according to cost and what equipment & fish are available. Once into fishkeeping it is extremely rewarding, but it can also be very frustrating too, and that is the same world over.
 
Upvote 0

Ouse

I use Maidenhead Aquatics. There’s a location I visit that sells all sorts of fish and products.

In my area there’s no fish clubs that I know of. On the way to my sister’s flat there’s a big fish shop that I usually go to. The staff are very friendly, everything is well kept and they provide good services there. I’ve brought back fish that I couldn’t keep (they usually have spare display tanks for returned fish) and the staff always remember me.

I don’t buy fish from Pets at Home but I do buy their products because they’re sold at lower prices than other shops.

Fluval has a huge presence in this country and all my filters are Fluval. I’ve never seen any Eheim products here but I’m sure they’re a regular sight for USA and Canada hobbyists. From what I can tell, Europe hobbyists rely more on LFS while North American hobbyists rely more on general pet shops.
 
Upvote 0

pagoda

I use an online fish supplier, Sims. My equipment is bought online from Complete Aquatics or Pro-Shrimp and delivered next day by courier (same for the fish). Eheim are very popular but expensive in the UK.

My aquariums are all identically equipped....got rid of the filters and lights that they came with and kept the heaters as spares....I run all aquariums on Tetra EX600 Plus external filters, JBL S Pro Heat 100w heaters and remote control Nicrew lighting. Costs less on spares, especially filter media, and I have Purigen in all canisters too as an extra safeguard against issues. I have 2 Aquael 60 Hex and a Ciano Aqua 60 & a Ciano Aqua 80 aquariums.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Fluval has a huge presence in this country and all my filters are Fluval. I’ve never seen any Eheim products here but I’m sure they’re a regular sight for USA and Canada hobbyists. From what I can tell, Europe hobbyists rely more on LFS while North American hobbyists rely more on general pet shops.

Eheim is retreating from North America for years now and focusing on Europe and Asia, and Fluval is a Canadian Company founded by german immigrants... Well... Is there a pattern?
Sometimes I feel here in Germany I have everything at my disposal. Sera, Tetra, JBL, Eheim, Dennerle... all german brands.
 
Upvote 0

Ouse

Eheim is retreating from North America for years now and focusing on Europe and Asia, and Fluval is a Canadian Company founded by german immigrants... Well... Is there a pattern?
Sometimes I feel here in Germany I have everything at my disposal. Sera, Tetra, JBL, Eheim, Dennerle... all german brands.
Living in Germany really provides a massive head start! In the UK (at least in my area) there’s lots to offer too. Fluval has a huge presence as I said, and they make some of the best products out there IMO. Filters, bug bites, you name it.

I see the pattern! The Europeans came to North America and now the North Americans are coming here. This shows how the hobby is growing and distributing itself!
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
8
Views
306
Dechi
Replies
1
Views
153
FinalFins
Replies
14
Views
1K
miyuki
Replies
4
Views
179
Vollmond
Replies
7
Views
732
jake37

Random Great Thread

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom